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Victoria Bitter (VB) | Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.

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Victoria Bitter (VB)Victoria Bitter (VB)

Brewed by:
Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
Australia | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dwarbi on 02-16-2002

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 314
Photo of Hashes
2.55/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well what can I say about a beer, which at 4.9% was one of Melbourne's best bitter beers many years ago.

This bitter beer has fallen apart, from 4.9% to 4.8% now 4.6% this beer has been ruined, also their is only a slight bitter taste,but this slight bitter taste is confused with a sweet taste, also it is confusing drinking this beer served from a hotel tap.

In some hotels the slight bitter taste is more than in other hotels.

I do not drink this beer anymore, I have switched to hammer & Tongs a 4% draught beer.

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Photo of Viggo
2.18/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500 ml can from the LCBO. Why? No idea.

Pours a crystal clear golden, pretty dark for an adjunct lager, fluffy white head forms and quickly settles down to a very thin ring, no lacing, looks pretty standard.

Smell is pretty average, vague fruitiness, corn, lots of adjunct sweetness, a bit of garbage bag, not a whole lot going on, lightly grassy and floral, not good.

Taste is worse, apple juice, corn and adjuncts, lightly sweet, a touch of floral, watery, no finish, not good.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, just weak and watery and what little flavour there is isn't very pleasant.

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Photo of Finite
2.5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Yellow to light gold in colour with a reasonable head and lacing. Retention is good to poor.

Smell is of a DMS type buttery aroma. Some PR hops and other malts.

Plain and grainy, husky malt flavours, more DMS type flavour which I think actually doesn't ruin the beer.

A finer carbonation than one would expect from a macro but overall the thin mouthfeel and water body of the beer leaves you not at all satisfied.

Try on tap for a .5 better beer.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.74/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear straw, moderate white head is slightly sticky.

S - Odd mix of light grassy hop and feet.

T - A little lemon, a little grass, a little extra acidity and a husky grain.

M - A bit of a watery body and a spritzy cabonation.

D - Mild and mostly inoffensive. Pretty typical pale lager. Not bad, but very drinkable.

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Photo of tobeerornottobe
1.7/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Bubbly head which fades disappointingly quickly. Lacing actually better than I expected, but it's still not that good.

N: Yes, the Pride of Ringwood hops are there, enough said. Not as pungent as I recall when I've had this beer previously though.

T: Watery but with a weird bitterness that is initially OK until it turns into rotting vegetable matter.

M: Thin and watery. Obviously if it's watery it's easy to sell lots of in pubs.

In all honesty, more drinkable than I expected but that's all I can say really. Also, it's definitely not a true bitter. I wonder whether this beer has changed since it was first brewed.

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Photo of maddux91
1.71/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Taken from tasting on 03/12/2009.

Had this on-tap at my local pub. Along with the other 30 or so 40year-old blue collar workers there.

A - Not too bad. Has the colour of brass, quickly fading white head. No lacing what-so-ever.

S - Jesus Christ! I need a close-peg to block my nose, this beer reeks of chemicals, smells like something died in there.

T - Bad. Bad Bad. Couldn't even finish my mouthful.

M - Bad once again. For the brief second I had this in my mouth.

D - Maybe if you are a 40year-old bogan, who has no idea what a real beer is. Hot day, perhaps.

This is by far the worst beer I have ever had, even shitty beers like Carlton Draught are better than this. It really annoys me to see all these people who are so indoctrinated on this being a true Aussie beer, and refusing to try something actually worth calling a beer.

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Photo of Sammy
2.01/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I am trying to be constructive. This pours yellow with white foam. Cheesy aroma. A little below average mouthfeel. A little malt in taste, near metallic. The taste is authentic wet cardboard. undrinkable.Aggressive carbination.Poor even for its style.

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Photo of TheHammer
1.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured with a huge three fingers of head, but it quickly went south. It does produce decent lacing but the body shows next to no signs of carbonation. Color is a bit dark brass.

Smell: Not much to say, even after warming the slight smell of earthy hops and a strange funk is all that is brought to the table. It's not offensive enough to earn a 1, but there isn't anything here I can say I approve of.

Taste: It tastes like sweat and earthy hops. The beer starts out with a salty poorly roasted malt and then turns into an undesirable salty funk that gets drawn into earthy hops, that thankfully end the experience by making your mouth taste like wet dirt. I'm not going to give it a 1 as I can still drink it down, and it's subdued enough to not make me drain pour it, but it certainly leaves something to be desired.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is low as you drink it and is completely gone at the half way point. I really have to give it to the hops, as they are the only nice transition and make up the majority of the of the aftertaste, but even they can quite shake the underlying taste of sweat.

Drinkability: Remember how I said the carbonation is abset. Well it seems to only make it's presence known, after it's in your gut. I normally need to put two beers back before I can belch that loudly. Fairly light and somewhat refreshing but far too gassy.

Final Thoughts: The beer makes you belch, simply put and while some people might find that humorous, it's not exactly the effect I'm looking for in a beer. There is very little here worthwhile and it seems to get worse as you drink it down. It got drain poured at the half way point, so you will want to avoid.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.43/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml Can poured into a pint glass

A - small white fizzy head, head dissipates quickly. Golden yellow

S - light smell.. nothing much to report, smells like beer

T - Has a very crisp dry taste, not sure why but it reminds me of a dry white wine to some extent. A little on watery side. Also hints of corn syrup

M - highly carbonated, lots of small bubbles.. but it disappears quickly. Beer seemed to be getting flatter as my drinking progressed

D - dry aftertaste

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.09/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Only my third Australian brew (after Fosters and Coopers). I've heard of Victoria Bitter before, and always wanted to give it a go. Except I found out that it ain't a bitter; it's a run-of-the-mill lager. Great...

Poured into a lager glass. A decent golden hue, lots of visible carbonation, with about a 1/2 inch of frothy head. Retains itself fairly well, leaving a ring with a thin layer for the first half pint or so.

And then there's the smell. I have no idea what it is, but it ain't pleasant. Smells tinny and industrial, with a strange, strawberry-sugar backing that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe apple or corn syrup. Neither hops nor malts factor in whatsoever.

The taste isn't much better. Starts off with a strangely saccharine sweetness, perhaps a bit of honey, but finishes with a foul, bitter chemical concoction. I guess there's hops here, I'm not really sure what it is. Not pleasant to finish.

Despite the visible carbonation (or perhaps, in spite of it), a surprisingly flat brew. Watery and without much bite.

I should have figured that the only brews we'd get from down under would be the mass-produced lager type. Craft brews aren't going to travel all the way up here. About the only positive for this brew is that it's motivating me to take a trip to Australia to discover what the 'real' Aussie beer drinking scene is all about.


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Photo of biegaman
1.35/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It's a funny thing that this looks alright because, otherwise, VB has about as much appeal as an STD. Its spotless clarity and deep tone of gold do not personify the beer's nauseating and raunchy character, I can assure you. Likewise, its white head may look pristine but the industrially-produced, chemical-filled, adjunct-ridden beer beneath it is anything but.

"Vic Bitter" has forever marketed itself as an unpretentious, blue-collar, working man's beer and, indeed, it smells like a big, sweaty fat man would after a long day's work under a hot sun. Even dripping with perspiration, dehydrated, exhausted from a full day of outdoor labour I doubt I could drink this. This is so bad it could turn even raccoons away.

VB is affectionately known as "Vitamin B", ironic considering the beer is evidently deficient of malt. It is full, rather, of industrial adjuncts and chemical fillers, the smell of which is as repulsive as (and conjures to mind) green mold. And, truth be told, I'd just as soon take my chances with that than risk finishing this; I think a Tetanus shot might be a good idea.

It is foul and off-putting and far from refreshing. The rawness and unpleasantness of its taste, which is like corn syrup gone bad, is heinously cloying and wickedly wretched on the palate. The fact that it's gone easy on the bubbles only makes things worse; this horrid flavour just sits on the tongue like a filthy pigeon stooped on a ledge. This may have alcohol in it but, believe me, it's a uniquely sobering experience...

I'm told that the Aussies joke that VB stands for "Vomit Bomb", "Vaginal Backwash" or 'Very Bad', none of which come close to accurately portraying the horribleness that is this monstrosity of a beer (but, if I had to chose, I'd say that "Vomit Bomb" probably comes the closest). Normally beer is, as the saying goes, proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - VB would suggest He hates us and wants us to be miserable.

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Photo of vacax
2.95/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL brown bottle with a twist off cap. The pour is gold with a good couple fingers of foamy white head. Retention is moderate, a few big bubbles make it look a bit soapy, but looks like a nice brew. The aroma is fairly sweet on the malt side with a somewhat prevalent corn scent.

Clean malt flavor initially makes for a very pleasant ingress, pleasant bitterness on the midpalate along with corn that carries through into the finish. Big chlorine / chemical taste on the finish also, but pretty crisp. Better than a lot of American adjunct lagers actually, despite multiple flaws. Light body, moderate to high carbonation, I like that it isn't too bubbly. More drinkable than the average adjunct lager.

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Photo of pootz
2.31/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Can sampled cold and sipped as it warmed to 50DegF

Poured a clear gold liquid in the glass, must give a hard pour to get a 1 finger rocky cap, even that vanishes quickly and laces weakly.

Aroma is faint but as it warms you get cane sugar sweetness, some hop grassiness..overall smells like sweet wet cardboard...totally over processed sterile extract brew smell.

Weak thin body, virtually no lager character.

Sweetish with weak husk-graininess and a whack of rough phenolic-sulfury-acidic green beer tastes, watery weak finish some hop after taste from POringwood hops (extract?).

Overall a cheap, over processed adjunct laden beverage that approximates beer flavor. I'm told 'VB' stand for 'vomiting bogans' in Oz vernacular...seems like the demographic this weak green piss would appeal to.

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Photo of philphilphil
1.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

bad. Australia being home to the worst beers and the most famous usually being on the lesser end, this beer tastes worse than piss.
A - light unintresting.
S - CUB crap coming though.
T - cheap soda water with bad vodka mixed. Awful.
M -thin, nasty.
D - low. And seriously overpriced, same price as far better beers.
thankgod it was free, wouldnt take it again.

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Photo of andrenaline
2.65/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a light golden brown with a very thin layer of head which dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - Very light scent, mostly bready and grassy in nature. The smell is reminiscent of Stella Artois.

T - Grassy malts and bitter on the finish. A bit of a sour lemon flavour present, though this is very mild.

M - Light, bubbly and smooth. Goes down easily, especially on a hot summer day.

D - Not really a memorable beer, but I would never turn one down if offered. It quenches your thirst, but the flavour is rather mild.

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Photo of BeerSingh
2.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Although I have had this beer back in Sydney, this is one of the latest imports to hit the Indian market. I decided to have a go.

Poured from the can into a pint glass. It kind of collapsed without raising a head, so it was pretty disappointing from the word go. It was clear and piss yellow, with a bunch of bubble lines shooting up but eventually just bursting into nothingness. The smell was grain and grass all the way. A wee bit of corny sweetness if you concentrated hard enough. The taste was dull, bland and very watery - only noticeable aspect was the bite on your palate because of the mega carbonation. The mouthfeel became abrasive because of the lack of any flavour to speak of. A little sweetness, a little bitterness - but far too attenuated to be of any value.

I am normally not opinionated, but pick up a VB only if you want to write a review.

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Photo of chaosmaster
1.67/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

this is an aussie version of budweiser but with a little bit, if you can tell the diffrerence, bitterness, but I had to pay a premium price for it. Not worth the money. Immediately rinse your mouth with budweiser or MGD if you happen to have one. I won't try it again.

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Photo of BigBry
2.5/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Short brown, as pictured above. Not an Bitter or ESB as might be expected from the name/label.
Basic adjunct lager: yellow color, white foam that disappears before forming a head. Smell us a bit vegetal, with other sweetness from some unknown adjunct additives. Sourish grainy taste, a bit metalic aftertaste. Alcohol burn comes through at the end. Not much else to say, unfortunatly not really worth the 'import' price tag.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(Served in a short strange)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear bright yellow body with strands of tiny bubbles gliding up to a snow white creamy head that lasted for a bit.
S- There is a soft field corn note to the nose but otherwise it is very clean.
T- There is a soft sulfury bitter hop note that finishes with a field corn flavor that grows and lingers more as the beer warms. M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a clean finish.
D- This beer is a bit bland with the field corn notes being the only real flavors.

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Photo of DIM
2.06/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a: This was a pale golden color. It poured with a short lived fizzy head.

s: A little sweet grain and some generic bitterness.

t: Mirrors the smell, not much going on.

m: Fizzy and wet.

d: I had this beer in paradise (Wilson Island). It didn't help.

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Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was given this by an actual Australian expat who says she paid way too much for a case just to get an authentic taste of home.

Pours thin and yellowish with a decent white head that falls to surprisingly strong lacing. The aroma is surprisingly robust, with a little honey and grain, like a strong adjunct lager. The flavor is decent as well, a little bready, sweet, a kiss of honey, and just the faintest flicker of hops. The mouthfeel is thin and there is just a hint of bitterness on the finish. Not too bad for what it is.

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Photo of allboutbierge
1.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I tried this on a whim...and ended up disappointed.

Its a cheap golden adjunct lager...fizzy with boisterous, but short lived head. Lots of corn in there, not much rice. A mild crispness in the forefront, but has a rough grainy finish. Not much really to analyze. It was served cold and I guess served it's purpose. I should learn to have lesser expectations...I thought I was buying an actual Bitter mild.

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Photo of istarilord
2.05/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured pale lagery yellow brown... my first Australian bitter. Too used to US ESB's which are a different breed entirely.

Light carbonation, malty/metallic taste. Not too much happening, but not overtly offensive flavor.

Easy enough to drink, but I would probably grab most of the other taps first. It was a free drink, so who am I to complain?

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
1.49/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A: Light golden with a nice rather large white head that leaves nice lacings.

S: Almost not traceable, but I can sence citrus and alcohol.

T: Flat! But if I'm trying to find something positive - there is some malt.

M: Thin with no flavours - some carbonic acid.

D: Avoid! This must be for those who aren't into big malty or hoppy flavours. It quenches ones thirst, but that's about it.

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Photo of jbro434
2.31/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I finally decided to shell out the 3 francs to buy this and I was hoping for a good showing. Pours a decent deep gold with small, bubbled head and just about zero lacing. The taste up front is grainy and light. I have a soft spot for Fosters and I was hoping for something close. This just fizzled in my mouth like a typical macro with no hint of anything other than grain and a quck dash of hops. Finished with mostly carbonation and a metalic twang that would only have me repeating this experience if I were out in the Outback on a hot and dusty day with nothing else available. If you have to go native, just hope it is so cold that you avoid the boring taste of this brew.

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Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
58 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.